How Technology Is Helping Patients Be Heard
Research and Innovations Accurate information about patients is the lifeblood of health care at every stage from diagnosis through treatment.
hile tests and physical metrics are vital, Patient-Reported Data (PRD) provides the indispensable context that makes patient-centred care possible. Unfortunately, the traditional methods for collecting PRD are notoriously unreliable and inefficient. “We need to start utilizing innovation and design to bring the traditional clinical encounter out of the dark ages,” says Sandy Penn Whitehouse, a pediatrician with 25 years of health care experience, and co-founder of Shift Health, a digital platform for PRD collection.
“There is data showing that people tend to be more truthful in technology assessments rather than face-to-face interviews.”
New evidence shows that using technological solutions for collecting PRD, like TickiT, a mobile interactive platform created by Shift Health, rather than interviews and paper questionnaires, results in substantially higher-quality data. These findings are in large part due to an increased sense of comfort for the patient. “Patients are concerned about what their physicians and front-line health staff think about them,” explains Daniel Penn, CEO of Shift Health. “There is data showing that people tend to be more truthful in technology assessments rather than face-to-face interviews.”
This discovery is especially true when it comes to sensitive topics like mental health issues, drug use, and sexuality. For example, early uses of Shift Health platforms showed a marked increase in detection of suicidal ideation in adolescents as compared to face-to-face interviews.
Transitioning patient data into the digital realm not only improves diagnosis and reduces physician workload, it also allows for more complex analytics, and can even help identify key areas for additional health care funding while saving on cost in the process. The wide-ranging benefits of this technology can be a boon to overworked health care professionals, helping them ensure that care is effective, efficient, compassionate, and always patient-centred.